Prices Crumbling at Record Rates; HOUSING

Article excerpt

House prices are crumbling at record rates - fuelling fears that a consumer-led slowdown could tip the UK economy into recession.

The Nationwide building society yesterday said house prices fell by 1.7 per cent this month, leaving them 8.1 per cent lower than a year ago - the biggest annual fall since the series began in January 1991.

House prices have now fallen by nine per cent in nine months from a peak last year, an even sharper fall than during the property crash of the early 1990s.

Nationwide said the average house price fell for a ninth straight month in July to pounds 169,316 - nine per cent below the peak hit in October last year of pounds 186,044 and the lowest level since August 2006.

House prices were down 8.1 per cent compared to the same month a year ago - the biggest annual fall since the monthly series began in January 1991.

"The combination of weaker consumer confidence and sharply slowing house prices will take its toll on consumer spending and the broader economy throughout the remainder of this year," said George Buckley, chief UK economist at Deutsche Bank. …